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US to transfer 16 Guantanamo detainees to Saudi custody: Saudi foreign minister
US to transfer 16 Guantanamo detainees to Saudi custody: Saudi foreign minister

[JURIST] Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal has said that 16 Saudi detainees now held by the US at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] will be returned to Saudi Arabia [press release] in the next few days. During an interview [transcript] with US media Wednesday, al-Faisal said that after their return to Saudi Arabia, the detainees will be "will be incarcerated and checked, and we see what the proof against them is. If the proof against them justifies trial, they are put on trial." There has been no confirmation from the US military of the detainees' release, as it is US policy not to announce impending transfers until the captives are exclusively under the control of the receiving country.

Al-Faisal did not provide the names of the detainees to be released. The US Defense Department earlier this week released the names of 759 current and former Guantanamo prisoners [PDF; JURIST report], over 100 of whom are from Saudi Arabia. Knight Ridder has more.